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Former US Gymnastics doc faces child porn charges

22 December 2016, 13:31

Chicago - A former US Olympic gymnastics team doctor is facing growing accusations of sexual misconduct with a judge ordering him held without bond in a child pornography case while a new lawsuit accused him of abusing a patient.

Larry Nassar had served on the US gymnastics team as recently as last year. Michigan State University, where he had his practice, fired him in September after multiple accusations surfaced.

A federal judge in Michigan ordered Nassar held without bond on Wednesday after an FBI agent testified that at least 37 000 images and videos of child pornography were recovered on hard drives belonging to the doctor, US media reported.

Similar offences

Some videos showed Nassar sexually assaulting young girls in a pool, agent Rod Charles testified in a court hearing, the Lansing State Journal reported.

Nassar, who was arrested last week, could face a maximum of 40 years in prison if convicted.

The investigation is ongoing and prosecutors have made a broad appeal for information from the public regarding any other similar offences committed by Nassar in or outside of Michigan, or abroad.

And in another development on Wednesday, former Michigan State University softball player Tiffany Lopez sued the university and Nassar, claiming in a suit filed in Los Angeles that he molested her multiple times while she was a student athlete in the late 1990s.

Lopez, who has spoken out publicly in the case, said the abuse happened during treatments for chronic back pain.

Sexual abuse

Nassar was last month charged by Michigan state prosecutors with sexual misconduct with a victim younger than 13. In that case, the child was not a patient or a gymnast, authorities said.

Nassar's legal woes come as USA Gymnastics is reeling from a recent investigative report by the Indianapolis Star newspaper, which claims at least 368 young gymnasts were sexually assaulted by coaches or other adults involved in the sport.

The newspaper also said USA Gymnastics officials failed to alert authorities when its coaches were accused of sexual abuse.


- AFP

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